Reading Song to a Sea Gull

By Lyn Lifshin

When I read about the

photo retouch expert in

Japan, taking what’s

blurred and faded, torn,

assumed lost and how

removed from debris,

as I’ve pulled some of

Joni’s songs from a

dark room in the house

I’m rarely in and what

was, blooms again, brings

back the most vivid

memories. I listen again

to her words, the

lyrics raw and direct,

chunks of what I

thought I’d lost and I’m

astonished, as those

locals in Japan who come

to look thru photos that

were found, cleaned

so they can hold

what they no longer

have, touch, bury

themselves in


Lyn Lifshin has published over 130 books and chapbooks including three from Black Sparrow Press: Cold Comfort, Before It’s Light, and Another Woman Who Looks Like Me. Before Secretariat: The Red Freak, the Miracle, Lifshin published her prize winning book about the short lived beautiful race horse Ruffian, The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness. Recent books include Ballroom, All the Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead, All True, Especially The Lies, Light At the End: The Jesus Poems, Katrina, Mirrors, Persphone, Lost In The Fog,  Knife Edge Absinthe: The Tango Poems.  NYQ Books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also  just out: For the Roses poems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre. The Miracle and Tangled as the Alphabet—The Istanbul Poems from Night Ballet Press. Just released as well: Malala. The Marilyn Poems was just released from Rubber Boots Press. An update to her Gale Research Autobiography is out: Lips, Blues, Blue Lace: On The Outside. Also just out is a dvd of the documentary film about her: Lyn Lifshin: Not Made Of Glass. Just out: Femme Eterna and Moving Through Stained Glass: the Maple Poems. Forthcoming: Degas Little Dancer and Winter Poems from Kind of a Hurricane Press.

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